Explicit teaching, collaborating on the analysis of formative assessment data, and focused professional learning – these are some of the practices that are prevalent in schools that consistently deliver high progress in NAPLAN.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has recently updated the profiles of schools that consistently deliver high progress in reading, writing and numeracy.
ACARA chief executive officer David de Carvalho highlighted that looking for approaches that are prevalent in these schools can bring to light practices that have potential for wider application.
“It’s a contribution to the evidence on what works to improve literacy and numeracy achievement,” de Carvalho said.
The 24 schools profiled are, however, not necessarily those that achieve high average results, which are often strongly correlated with socio-educational advantage.
“Instead, what we’ve done is approach schools that, taking into account where their students were two years previously as well as the school’s level of socio-educational advantage, have achieved progress that is above what you’d expect. And they are doing it consistently, year after year,” he said.
“So, the focus is on schools that are doing something intentional and systematic to achieve progress for their students.”
The schools profiled – nine for numeracy, eight for reading, and seven for writing – are from across Australia and are from government, Catholic and independent sectors.
de Carvalho added that no two schools follow the same regime and there is a great diversity of practices and approaches adopted, but there are also key lessons to be learnt.
“The information provided by the schools indicates that some of them do use similar methods,” he said.
In addition, a number of the schools profiled also made it clear that they do not do any special preparation for NAPLAN.
“To this end, schools that adopt evidence-based teaching practices, are informed by data and have sustained and focused professional development are giving their students the best chance to progress in their learning,” de Carvalho concluded.